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Ex-Giants in AAA

Who from this list will be impressive enough at minor league baseball to later play major league baseball?

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Our photo tool doesn’t have pictures of guys in mino league uniforms, so please accept this picture of Christian Arroyo from Spring Training
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, we all found out what major league teams are employing ex-Giants, and the world was a better place for it. But don’t we want the world to be...a betterer place? I think we do. So now I present to you the AAA teams with ex-Giants on their rosters.

PCL

American Northern

Oklahoma City Dodgers (Dodgers)
They’ve got Guillermo Moscoso! Perhaps the most 2013 Giants member of the 2013 Giants, as he was the most boring player on that team, Moscoso is most memorable for taking forever to throw a dang pitch. It was agonizing. In fact, the legend goes that he is pitching the third inning of the final game of the 2013 even today, and sometimes, late at night, if you tune your radio to 679 AM and listen real close, you can hear Dave Flemming begging Bruce Bochy to please, please, for the love of God, put Sandy Rosario into the game.

Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals)
I have never been as impressed by a pitcher in AAA as I was by Mike Broadway in 2015 when he was with the River Cats. In terms of mound presence, velocity, and making hitters look foolish (I once described watching him pitch as “like watching a polar bear fight a taco”), he was every bit Hunter Strickland’s equal. It hasn’t worked out for Broadway in the majors, but man, he sure was something in Sacramento.

Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers)
This is where Andres Blanco ended up after spending his spring in Scottsdale.

Iowa Cubs (Cubs)
They’ve got 2017 Sacramento River Cat Wynton Bernard, who counts way more than Andres Blanco. Just trust me on this. Way more.

American Southern

Round Rock Express (Rangers)
None.

Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals)
None.

Nashville Sounds (A’s)
Other than pitching coach Rick Rodriguez (not to be confused with former Giant Rich Rodriguez), who I mentioned last year, they also have 2017 Giants farmhand Slade Heathcott, who has been very outspoken on Twitter about how garbage minor league pay is, and he’s someone who would know, so he’s worth listening to.

Give him a follow. Or don’t if you don’t want to. I’m not in charge of your Twitter decisions.

New Orleans Baby Cakes (Marlins)
None.

Pacific Northern

Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
2016 Giants hero Gordon Beckham is back for his second year with the Rainiers. “Doug, I don’t remember Gordon Beckham being all that impressive,” you might be saying. But look at it like this: the Giants’ record with Gordon Beckham on the roster was 5-1. That’s an .833 winning percentage. Therefore, if he’d have been on the team all year, they’d have won 135 games, easily the most in major league history. So calling him “2016 Giants hero Gordon Beckham” is actually entirely justified.

Fresno Grizzlies (Astros)
Fresno is the new home of last year’s third string catcher, Tim Federowicz. I can’t believe the Giants let him go. He led the team in slugging last year! I mean, sure, it was in just 14 PAs. But still, power is power.

Reno Aces (Diamondbacks)
They’ve got Albert Suarez, who the Diamondbacks took in the Rule 5 draft, and then I guess the Giants didn’t want him back? That’s not a judgment; I just did not hear a single thing about the Giants declining to take him back after the end of Spring Training.

Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
See, the joke I went with last year, which I will be reusing here, is to pretend that I don’t know that the River Cats are the AAA affiliate of the Giants, and to then express surprise that Roberto Gomez, Chris Heston, Derek Law, Steven Okert, Trevor Brown, Hector Sanchez, Orlando Calixte, Ryder Jones, Austin Slater, Mac Williamson, hitting coach Damon Minor, and pitching coach Steve Kline are all on the team. It’s a fine joke, and recycling is good for the environment.

Pacific Southern

Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
None.

Las Vegas 51s (Mets)
First off, he’s not with the team anymore, but when I wrote my last article, former top Giants prospect Zack Wheeler was on the 51s roster. Between then and now, he got called up to the majors. I’m not looking to slight Wheelz here; his call-up just happened to be at an inconvenient time with regards to these articles. I am sure that he will find a way to get past this.

So who’s left on this team with Giants connections? None other than bullpen coach Jeremy Accardo, who was a Giants reliever in 2005 and 2006 before going to Toronto in the Shea Hillenbrand trade. If I’m being honest, I hadn’t thought about Jeremy Accardo a lot in the last few years. But then, to be fair, he probably hasn’t thought about me too much either.

Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
Former dinger masher Glenallen Hill is now managing a team in Albuqueruqe, a place where dinger mashers can thrive, which is the last stop in the Rockies system before they get to Denver, which is just the dinger mashingest place around. These skills seem to all be quite complementary.

El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
I mentioned Bronswell Patrick last year as the winner of the coveted Most Padres Name In Giants History Award, and here he is, coaching for the Padres AAA team. Of course, as anyone who listened to our NL Preview Chroncast remembers, Roy from Gaslamp Ball pointed out that the Padres roster has such a strong Latin flavor that that joke is probably stale and out of date. But guess what? I’m not coming up with a new one. Because I’m lazy.

IL

International League North

Syracuse Chiefs (Nationals)
The Syracuse Chiefs employ both Chris Dominguez and Alejandro De Aza! Dominguez is the proud owner of a World Series ring because of his 8 games played for the Giants in 2014, and De Aza was a late season acquisition in 2015 who wasn’t terrible, but also wasn’t impressive enough to play every day or keep around. We were all a bit discouraged at the end of 2015, but at least we knew that the next year was going to be an even year, free from disappointment because of the inevitable World Series victory.

Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
Former Giant farmhand Adalberto Mejia, traded in the Eduardo Nuñez deal, is back in AAA after spending most of 2017 in the majors. He wasn’t great in the majors last year, but he was serviceable, and he’s really back in AAA because the Twins don’t have a place for him right now, though once they get hit by the injury bug, he’ll probably be back in their rotation.

Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays)
The Giants lost Joe Biagini in the Rule 5 draft before the 2016 season, and he proceeded to make them look really stupid for not keeping him by having an excellent season out of the bullpen, which, ha ha, it’s not like that Giants team needed bullpen help anyway, am I right? He’s back in the minors now, as the Jays try to convert him back into a starter.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees)
None.

Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
None.

Lehigh Valey IronPigs (Phillies)
None.

International League South

Durham Bulls (Rays)
(looks scornfully at the season Evan Longoria is having)

Christian Arroyo could do that.

While in Durham, Arroyo gets to hang out with former Giant Cody Hall. Hall made 7 appearances for the Giants in 2015, got picked up by a couple other organizations since then, and has mostly been in the minors since then. Still, he’s a very nice person and let’s all please root for Cody Hall to do well.

Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
I was surprised when I saw that Chris Stewart is in AAA. I figured someone with his defensive skills would be a major league backup catcher for a decade at least. Then I saw that he had a .463 OPS for the Pirates last year and I was like, “Oh, well, yeah, that makes sense then.”

The Stripers also employ Xavier Avery, who was a Sacramento River Cat for about 8 minutes back in 2015. Well, technically the Braves employ him, but I’ve already talked about Xavier Avery too much. Let’s move on.

Norfolk Tides (Orioles)
This is where Andrew Susac ended up this year. Susac’s had a tough time of it since getting traded to the Brewers in the Will Smith deal; injuries and ineffectiveness have combined to take some of the luster off his prospect star. Also on the Tides: Ruben Tejada, who was on the 2016 Giants for a minute and didn’t impress anyone. But boy howdy, he sure was there.

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
None, unless you’re interested in Conor Gillaspie’s brother Casey, which I doubt you are.

International League West

Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
None.

Columbus Clippers (Indians)
Neil Ramirez won the competition in Spring Training last year to be the last reliever on the Giants roster. A month later, he was gone. There’s a lesson to be learned in that. Perhaps it’s about the impermanence of life; how achieving your dreams can bring you only fleeting satisfaction. Perhaps the lesson is to savor every moment of a good thing, because you can’t know when it will end. Or perhaps the lesson is that it’s tough to know when relievers are good. Who can tell, really?

Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
They have Kyle Crick, who’s done well so far (EDIT: 33 minutes before this article went up, Crick was called up to the majors), but more importantly, if you were to pick the major league Rust Belt team whose affiliate is called the Indians, how is it the Pirates?

Louisville Bats (Reds)
Their pitching coach is Jeff Fassero and one of their catchers is brief Giant Tony Sanchez and honestly, I’m at like 1600 words here, and I just don’t have a lot to say about Tony Sanchez and Jeff Fassero that I didn’t cover in last year’s article. Tony Sanchez was on the Giants for about a week. Jeff Fassero was old when he was on the Giants and is older now. That’s it.

Mexican League

Look, I’m not gonna go team by team through this because I’m tired and unless I go with guys who the Giants signed to minor league deals but never called up to the majors (Everth Cabrera, take your bow), almost all of them are going to say “None.” But here are the highlights:

  • The Sultanes de Monterrey are managed by Roberto Kelly and feature Ramiro Pena on their roster.
  • The Diablos Rojos del Mexico feature Jean Machi.
  • And finally, and this is the big one, the Acereros del Norte are using Chad Gaudin as a reliever and ... wait for it ... their starting right fielder is ... take a guess here ... Ruben Rivera! Rivera’s been playing in the Mexican League for more than a decade now, and he might never stop. Or he might stop, go back, reverse course again, stop again, take a second to think about going back but just stand there, and then run full bore into the wall right in front of him. It would be extremely in character.

Eugenio Velez update

According to Wikipedia, Eugenio Velez is currently a free agent. The end of his career might well be upon us. Farewell, sweet prince. We shall remember you always.